Cody Police Stopping Drivers Who Pass School Bus Stop Signs
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 5, 2021
Local law enforcement officers are pledging to cite Cody drivers for violating the law and not observing the right procedures when a school bus tells them to stop.
The Cody Police Department released a YouTube video on Wednesday, March 4, in partnership with Park County School District #6. Their goal is to draw awareness to an increasing problem in Cody: drivers disregarding school bus stop arms.
Sam Hummel, Director of Transportation for the district, says that Cody’s school bus drivers are seeing a significant uptick of local drivers ignoring school buses.
“The bus drivers have reported an uptick in stop-arm violations. Currently, we’re seeing three to five a day throughout the district,” Hummel says.
The Cody Police Department is aware and taking action to stop this. Lieutenant Jason Stafford says local law enforcement is “aggressively seeking offending vehicles” and issuing citations to those drivers ignoring stop arms.
Stafford says there is limited officer discretion with these violations.
Wyoming State Statute is clear on what to do when a school bus has its stop arm activated. When the red is flashing, drivers must stop and stay stopped until the bus starts moving again.
It’s a crime you can’t get away with. All Cody school buses have cameras, including one on the stop arm. Whenever a bus is on, up to six cameras are on and filming.
If the driver of the vehicle cannot be identified, the fine will be ascribed to the registered owner of the vehicle via their license plates. Violations can be as high as $350.
2021 has proven to be a dangerous year for Cody’s students on the road. In mid-January, a Cody Middle School student crossing Big Horn Avenue took a “glancing blow” from a semi-truck. They sustained minor injuries.
Later that month, a Cody High School student was injured after being struck by a vehicle. The incident occurred while the student was crossing Sheridan Avenue by City Park.
Several more traffic incidents and “near misses” were reported in early 2021. Nearly all of them involve Cody drivers disregarding the law in and around school zones.
Ultimately, it’s beholden on Cody drivers to drive cautiously and legally – which means following the law and heeding the stop sign on school buses.
“The Cody Police Department has a traffic philosophy in which we take public safety and student safety as a high priority,” Lt. Stafford says. “It’s important to the police department and the community to work together and ensure our students are getting home safely from school.”
You can watch the entire video on the Cody Police Department’s YouTube channel.